Hello. I have a pure white darlingtonia seedling, with no red or green pigment, and I was wondering what to do? It has no green pigment, therefore no chlorophyll, therefore cannot photosynthesise, and it will die as soon as the energy stored in its seed is used up. I want to keep it alive, so I researched, and I found out I can keep it alive by cutting the tip of it's leaf off, and sticking the leaf (still attached to the plant) in sugar solution, but I need more info. I can do this with its cotleydon leaves, but what will I do when it begins making pitchers? Would the same process work if I was to tip the sugar solution into the plants pitcher, since the pitchers are so sensitive to absorbing things?
Also, I'm wondering about the ethicality of it? I mean, naturally, the plant should die. Should I just let nature take its course and let it die?
I don't know anything about keeping it alive, but ethics? Please. A lot of the plants we grow would have died had they mutated in the wild. A lot of hybrids we grow couldn't exist in the wild in the first place. Most of the plants we grow are clones of each other, grown in a laboratory. Killing something like this because of ethics is (not to be mean) stupid.
Pictures would be interesting. For all you know, it may not be totally chlorophyll free. Maybe there is a leaf waiting to come out with a little bit of green on it, and just by coincidence no other leaves with chlorophyll have developed yet so it would lead you to believe there is no chlorophyll at all. Or maybe there is very little, and you just can't see it yet.
It looks like you have done your research and found that a plant lacking chlorophyll cannot manufacture food and will eventually die unless food is supplied from an external source. Your sugar solution may work as a temporary source. Sometimes an albino plant can be grafted onto a normal plant and derive food as a "parasite". I have two suggestions: 1. Try to grow the plant without any particular intervention. Perhaps it will have sufficient chlorophyll to survive and you will have a special plant. Perhaps it will die; perhaps not. 2. Treat this as a botanical experiment. Research the subject thoroughly and make an effort to keep the plant alive with super-human effort. Perhaps it will live. Perhaps it will die.
I have been told not to cut the cotleydon leaves, because they contain all the sugar it needs until it's first pitcher is formed, but is this true? I would've thought, that because they normally are green, they would be making sugar as well? I'm hoping it will survive until it reaches the stage where it makes its first tiny pitcher, and from then on I'd just feed it the appropriate sugar solution into the pitcher however often I need to, to keep it alive, but I'm unsure of if it would absorb sugar through it's pitcher?
Anyway, my first step, is to decide whether it will have enough suagr in its cotleydon leaves, without making more, to survive for another week.
Thankyou for the ethics opinion too, Clint. I was just making sure, because I really have no idea what I'm doing!
I just realised, an interesting thing is I remember most of the seedlings when they began to germinate had reddish/palish green stems before their leaves came out of the seeds, but a few, who didn't survive, seemed to have pale stems - they just never fully got out of their seeds. Maybe there were actually more than one albino - the others just didn't make it?